Dogs just don’t live as long as humans. Some dog breeds actually have a life expectancy that’s under a decade. Although no one likes to talk about it, the death of a pet is inevitable. At some point you will have to say goodbye to your faithful friend. Obviously, that’s something that can be really devastating for dog owners, most of whom would do anything they can to postpone the sad moment.
The trouble is that the dog might be in pain and postponing the inevitable could make him suffer more than needed. Instead of delaying, sometimes pet euthanasia is the best choice. But, how does one decide whether it’s time for such a drastic measure?
Well, that’s something that’s best left to professionals. Getting in touch with a vet as soon as possible is the best thing you can do. After all, it’s their job to access the health of the dog and give their honest recommendations. In some cases, old dogs can receive treatment that can keep them alive and healthy for a few more years. Sometimes vets can’t do anything to cure the dog apart from administrating euthanasia.
When is Euthanasia the Best Choice?
It’s all about the wellbeing of the animal, although in most cases, the decision to euthanize a sick dog is also going to put an end to your own emotional struggles. Watching your furry friend fade away slowly is something that can be difficult on your emotions, especially if the last days of his life are hard for him. That’s why it’s sometimes best to put an end to his suffering.
Some of the cases when euthanasia is the most humane thing you can do for your pup include the following:
— The dog is suffering from an incurable illness such as cancer
— The dog is very old and has already passed the average life expectancy for his breed
— The dog has stopped eating, drinking, and moving around
— The dog is showing signs of severe pain
— The dog seems not to be able to hear or see anymore
Of course, even if you spot the things mentioned in the list above, it doesn’t mean that you should decide on euthanizing your dog straight away. That’s the kind of decision you need to talk to your vet about.
If there’s a way to prolong your pup’s life while eliminating the pain, the vet will surely recommend such an option. But if such a thing is not a possibility, euthanasia may be the best solution. It’s quick and painless for the animal. Actually, the dog will not even know what’s going on. Your dog won’t suffer, but you will feel it emotionally. This is why you need to prepare yourself for what comes after.
What to Do After Dog Euthanasia?
It’s perfectly natural to feel strong grief for a period of time when your dog dies. There’s no shame to it — after all, your pup is a member of your family. He’s probably been around with you in good and bad times for the last decade or more. Feeling sad is the most natural emotion you can feel after her death. Of course, sadness isn’t always the prevailing feeling — you may also feel angry, lonely, disillusioned, and so on. No matter what you may feel after your pup’s been euthanized, you should remember that it’s completely normal.
And because it’s normal to feel grief for your dog, don’t feel ashamed to express your emotions. The people from the vet practice who have performed the euthanasia are perfectly aware of it. Actually, they expect you to be upset, which is why they’ll probably offer you a helping hand. And we say: accept it!
Your vet might be willing to talk to you after the euthanasia, explaining everything about what comes next. They’ll talk you through the whole process of cremation or burying the dog, as well as offer some friendly tips on how to make your home not feel too lonely now that he’s gone.
Dealing with Guilt
One of the most common feelings dog owners get after their pet has been euthanized is guilt. If you’re feeling this way, you should know that guilt has no room in your heart. The decision to euthanize your dog was taken with his best interests in mind. You did the best thing possible for him at that moment.
So instead of blaming yourself for not being able to save your dog’s life, focus on the good memories you have of him. Reminiscing of the good old days can certainly help in the first few days after your pup is gone, but even that won’t get rid of the feeling of sadness and emptiness. A method to cheer yourself up is to talk to your friends and family members who feel basically the same emotions.
The problem is that people without any previous experience with losing a dog might not be too understanding of the way you feel. They didn’t experience that kind of pain, so they don’t know what you’re going through. If that’s the case, maybe it’s best not to talk to them about your pup.
Instead, better talk to someone who understands the way you feel. The people from the vet office should be understanding, as well as people from your local pet shelter. And if you want the best help possible, we advise you to get in touch with people from a pet bereavement service. If you don’t have such a service in your local area, you should use the internet to look for those that offer consultations online.
Losing a dog can be a devastating experience for anybody. Multiply that by many times and you’ll get the magnitude of sadness a child may experience after their dog dies. The solution is not to try to soften the blow to your kids, but honestly explain everything to them. They need to understand that euthanasia was the best thing that could happen to your dog in the last days of his life.